Summer is here. From roadside farm stands to city-center farmers’ markets, fresh produce is in abundance and yours to choose from in the Portland metro area.
Those wonderful, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables are a feast for the eye, as well as the palate, making it easy to fit in those all important multiple servings a day. If you need any more convincing about the goodness of those summer fruits and veggies, don’t forget: They’re pretty good cancer fighters too.
Produce contains cancer-fighting compounds, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Some of these compounds can help strengthen the immune system and keep the body healthy. Others may help protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer, notes the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
To make the most of your trip to the farm stand, try these tips from the AICR and other experts:
· For a range of nutrients, plan to buy a rainbow of colors—from yellow squash and green spinach to orange sweet potatoes and juicy, red watermelon.
· Be adventurous and try something you’ve never eaten before. Ask the vendors for suggestions on choosing, storing and preparing it.
· Choose produce at various stages of ripeness so that you can enjoy it over several days.
To find your local farmers’ market click here
, then try out this simple summer recipe with your finds. To find additional recipes, please click here
The Perfect Summer Salad: Spinach, romaine and strawberries with balsamic vinaigrette
Spinach and romaine, two of the most popular leafy greens, contain lutein, a powerful antioxidant. They make an excellent match with strawberries in a light summer salad.
1 head romaine lettuce
6 ounces fresh spinach
2 cups fresh strawberries
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
· Separate romaine leaves and wash thoroughly. Spin or pat dry on paper towels. Wash and dry spinach leaves unless package indicates they have already been cleaned. Wrap greens in damp towels, cover loosely in plastic and refrigerate until serving time.
· Just before serving, wash and hull strawberries and cut into quarters. Tear romaine and spinach leaves into small- to-medium pieces. Combine greens and berries in salad or arrange on 6 individual tight-fitting lids.
· Pour vinegar and oil into small container with tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake until dressing is well-mixed. Pour over salad. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings. Amount per serving: 70 calories, 5g fat.
Source: American Institute for Cancer Research